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James Perrin

Twitter Ads set for UK Launch in October

19th Sep 2011 News, Industry News, Social Media, Social Media, Twitter 3 minutes to read

The micro-blogging site, Twitter, have plans to launch a UK-based advertising service which could be rolled out this October according to several sources.

The Internet Advertising Bureau have announced that Twitter is in the process of finalising their brand partners before launching this new service. First launched in the US in April last year, brands will now have the opportunity to pay for promoted tweets, trends and accounts, which will be displayed on UK pages.

How will they work?

The promoted tweets will be visible on a user’s time line, in search results, on third party services such as TweetDeck and also other user’s accounts. Twitter announced they were expanding their advertising platform across their whole network which means that you’ll see a promoted tweet even if you don’t necessarily follow that specific brand or advertiser.

Confused? Well don’t be, because promoted tweets work on how much a tweet resonates with Twitter users. Their algorithm can detect if a tweet has been sent out and picked up (ReTweeted, replied to or mentioned) organically, if not they will discontinue that specific promoted tweet.

It’s not entirely clear how Twitter will sell their advertising packages to brands but some sources are claiming they’re selling ad bundles in return for six figure investments, and according to Marketing Magazine, the clients they have on board so far include major brands like Sony, Sky, O2 and Vodafone.

Will they be effective?

The big question is how effective they will be, and whether they actually work or not. Based on the fact that tweets need to resonate with followers, it’s a great way of weeding out ads that are simply not engaging or relevant enough. For example, in the US Starbucks use promoted tweets to communicate discounts, savings or free coffee whilst also promoting their environmental policy’s (see below)


A recent study by eMarketer has looked into the way Twitter users engage with brands and the figures show that brands are making a big impact. Using the above tweet as an example, 21.6% of Twitter users have actually made a discount in some way or another by engaging or seeing a promoted tweet. The study also revealed that 24.8% of Americans found a promoted tweet relevant to them. This is one of the most important things, to reach out and engage to a new user.

The good news from the stats doesn’t stop there either. 21.2% of users have actually found out about a new brand through promoted tweets. With 14% of users retweeting promoted tweets; this reveals that a healthy portion of users are engaging and interacted with promoted tweets.

Social Media Advertising

Twitter has been looking to monetise from their service for a while now, and as Facebook’s social advertising looks to be taking off. Competing with the largest social network and its 700 million users is a difficult task anyway, but Twitter knows they need to have a slice of the social advertising pie.

We announced back in May that Twitter were close to buying AdGrok, a bidding platform for contextual keywords [See: Twitter Distancing Themselves from Third Party Services]. Twitter have therefore been looking to establish some form of an advertising strategy, and this recent development could lay the foundations for further advancements in their advertising strategy.

The success of this platform will depend on how effective their algorithm is, whilst brands will also need to make sure their tweets are relevant and engaging. Being able to target specific tweets, trends and accounts to the right people will be music to advertiser’s ears, but that’s just half the battle, they still need to make sure what they’re communicating is appropriate.

The stats so far are good; but it’s early days. If the algorithm is effective and brands are on top of their game, this could be another social ad platform perfect for brands to build up followers.

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